In March 2017, the East Bay Regional Parks District began generating clean solar energy from a 1.2 MW solar installation at its Shadow Cliffs Regional Recreation Area in Pleasanton. The solar is built atop carports in the recreation area’s parking lot, providing shade and protection to cars and visitors, while maximizing use of the space. The installation is expected to generate approximately 1.9 million kilowatt hours of energy annually, which is enough energy to provide electricity to more than 250 California homes.
East Bay Regional Parks is offsetting 1,335 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents by going solar each year. This is the same as taking 280 cars off the road for year or the amount sequestered annually by 1,264 acres of U.S. forests.
The project is expected to generate about $535,000 a year in credits on the park district’s utility bills and pay for itself in 12 to 15 years. The site will be net-metered, meaning that any of the solar energy not consumed on site will be fed into the local electricity grid and credited back to East Bay Regional Parks District, enabling them to save on energy costs.
The project will include three electric-car charging stations, new irrigation hook-ups and re-paving of the Shadow Cliffs parking lots.